CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 4,296 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. That is the highest one-day number of new cases.
The record-high day follows several days of increasing case totals as well as increases in hospitalizations and percent positive tests, according to NCDHHS records.
NCDHHS also reported the number of people visiting the emergency department with COVID-like illness is also increasing across the state. On Thursday, that number rose to 1,538 patients.
"I am very concerned. We are seeing warning signs in our trends that we need to heed to keep our family and friends from getting sick and ensuring our hospitals are able to care for those that have serious illness," said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.
The increase in cases comes just one week before the Thanksgiving holiday. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control on Thursday also released new guidance on traveling amid the coronavirus pandemic. Health officials have repeatedly reminded people it is not a good idea to gather in groups or travel over the holiday to avoid even more rapid spread of the virus.
Health leaders have also issued guidance for those who do plan to travel including getting tested three to four days ahead of time.
Mecklenburg County has increased its number of testing sites to meet increased demand for testing ahead of the holiday. A drop in testing site will open at Bojangles Coliseum on Monday.
"We have reasons for hope. With promising news on vaccines, this pandemic will end. Until then, North Carolinians need to do what we’ve done throughout this pandemic — take care of one another," Cohen said.